The Jordan Valley project - A case study in climate and regional planning

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Between the years 1970 and 1980 topoclimatological research was performed in the Central Jordan Valley. The aims of this project were to study the climate of one of the hardest climatic regions in Israel, which was to be developed as a new settlement area. The climatological data should be a useful tool for the planners of this new region, as the difficult climate is one of the most important factors ruling and influencing its development. During the ten-year period, more than 15 climatological stations were established, each yielding observations for at least 4 years. It was found that the central Jordan Valley could be divided into 3 climatological subregions: 1. (1) the eastern slopes of the Judean and Samarian mountains; 2. (2) the central Jordan Valley; 3. (3) the northern Dead Sea. The main factors influencing the climate are the great height differences and local topography, the descending winds from the Judean and Samarian hills, and the development of a local lake breeze from the Dead Sea. After calculating the discomfort values and after taking into consideration the heating degree days and the strong winds, the preferred settlement sub-region was found to be the eastern slopes of the Judean and Samarian hills, which is the highest place, although the area suffers from strong wind problems. The second preferred area is along the northern coast of the Dead Sea, and lastly, the central Jordan Valley. Among other aspects dealt with by the research program were the relation between the climate and agriculture of the region, and the impact of climate on the detailed planning of the different settlements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1982


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